Point of View and Theme in Sonny’s Blues Essay

Point of View and Theme in Sonny’s Blues Essay

Length: 783 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues, he describes a story of pain and prejudice. The theme of suffering makes the readers relate to it. The story is told in the realistic point of view of Sonny’s brother. The setting and time of the story also has great significance to the story. From beginning to end, the story is well developed.
The short story is narrated by Sonny’s older brother. He is a school a responsible school teacher, with a family of his own. The story begins by the brother, whose name is unidentified in the story, finding out that his young brother Sonny got arrested for possession and selling drugs, specifically heroin. He is the type of older brother that is protective yet he is angry for what his brother has done. He admits that he is scared for Sonny. He knew something was wrong but chose to turn a blind eye to it, because he didn’t want to believe it. “I had my suspicions but I didn’t name them, I kept putting them away.” If he had figured it out he may have been able to stop Sonny from getting in trouble before it was too late. He didn’t write Sonny until his daughter passed and then after they kept in touch regularly.
If the story was not told in the point of view of Sonny’s brother, it would have been a completely different story. If it had been told by Sonny’s perspective the readers would know Sonny’s pain more greatly. The way Baldwin chose to have the point of view in the brother’s perspective was a well thought out choice, but would the story have had more depth if it was told in Sonny’s point? Its excellent that we get to see how Sonny’s brother felt about the situation and how he dealt with the fact that his brother got himself into trouble, but it would also be good to have had Sonn...


... middle of paper ...


...by a car. Another theme may be racism because the mother tells the story of her husband’s brother getting killed by a bunch of white man that were drunk and just wanted to have some fun. The fun ultimately led to the death of a human. The significance of suffering and racism in this story is that throughout Sonny’s life their family has had struggles which caused Sonny to choose wrong paths in life.
Baldwin executed a well written short story by making the point of view through the eyes of Sonny’s brother. The setting made the story realistic, and the themes were powerful and influential. Though Sonny had struggles in life along with the rest of the family, he is able to redeem himself through his music. “Sonny’s fingers filled the air with life, his life. But that life contained so many others. And Sonny went all the way back, he really began to make it his.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay example

- Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin A captivating tale of a relationship between two troubling brothers in Harlem, "Sonny's Blues" is told from the perception of Sonny's brother, whose name is never mentioned. Baldwin's choice of Sonny's brother as a narrator is what makes "Sonny's Blues" significant in terms of illustrating the relationship and emotional complications of Sonny and his brother. The significance of "Sonny's Blues" lies in the way Sonny's brother describes their relationship based on what he observes, hears, and feels, and how he struggles trying to understand Sonny through the course of the story....   [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]

Better Essays
1217 words (3.5 pages)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay

- While reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin theme, symbolism, and motifs were discovered throughout the entire short story. Sonny one of the two main characters, is dealing with a drug addiction and is now following his dreams of becoming a jazz musician. The narrator, whose name was never given, does his best to keep the promise he made his mother years ago, to be his brother’s keeper. James Baldwin, an African American author, grew up in Harlem, New York. Baldwin had no one to share his love for literature with....   [tags: literary analysis]

Better Essays
1547 words (4.4 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Cathedral, By Sonny 's Blues, And Say Yes

- If there is a fascinating thing about human beings, it is how we are capable of loving, hatred and making rational decisions. Those characteristics set us apart from animals and have led people to believe that we are greater than what we truly are. Trusting in our discernment of how things should be and having that superiority complex, we tend to absolutize our opinions about a certain matter, with no proven evidence which is the worst of all. About this topic E. B. White said: “Prejudice is a great time saver....   [tags: Marriage, Family, Sibling, Stereotype]

Better Essays
1131 words (3.2 pages)

Racial Injustice in A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry and Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin

- ... Life in the black segregated neighborhood was filled with poverty, danger of drugs, and the death was waiting in almost every corner of the street. Though the life could be killed by the external racial force like racist murder case like narrators uncle, there were some other major threats like the danger of drugs and poverty which made the life in the segregated black community miserable. There when the darkness fell, the evil rose and the danger were waiting for human flash like hungry tiger....   [tags: sociological and story analysis]

Better Essays
1498 words (4.3 pages)

Analysis Of ' Sonny 's Blues ' Point Of View Matters Essay

- Itzel Garduno-Jaramillo Professor Suzanne Weber ENC 1102 February 16, 2016 Sonny’s Blues: Point of View Matters. Struggle, drugs, separation and reunion, that is what James Baldwin illustrates in Sonny’s blues. It is the story between two entirely different brothers as they struggle to discover who each one of them really is. “Sonny’s Blues” is narrated through the nameless older brother through first person with limited omniscience. Point of view is the narrator’s position in relation to the story which is depicted by the attitude toward the characters and Baldwin purposely picks to tell the story in the first person point of view because of the omniscient and realistic effects it contribu...   [tags: First-person narrative, Narrative, Drug addiction]

Better Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Point of View in The Black Cat

- The Importance of Point of View in The Black Cat Point of view is a very important aspect of The Black Cat. The main character tells the story to the reader from his first person point of view. You have a good feel for the story because you have the first person narration. As you read into the story it comes apparent however that the narrator telling the story is not a reliable interpretation of the details around him. You have a good feel for his emotions and the events of the story, but the narrators opinions are so far out that you are forced to wonder just what of the story is the askew interpretation of a madman and what is the reality of the situation....   [tags: The Black Cat Point of View Literature Essays]

Free Essays
1328 words (3.8 pages)

Point of View and Theme in Heart of Darkness Essay example

- Point of View and Theme in Heart of Darkness     In Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness the story of Marlow, an Englishman travelling physically up an unnamed river in Africa and psychologically into the human possibility, is related to the reader through several narrational voices. The primary first-person narrator is an Englishman aboard the yawl, the 'Nellie', who relates the story as it is told to him by Marlow. Within Marlow's narrative are several instances when Marlow relies upon others, such as the Russian, the brickmaker and the Manager at the central station, for information....   [tags: Heart Darkness essays]

Better Essays
1028 words (2.9 pages)

Sonny's Heroic Journey in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Essay

- The theme of "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin focuses on whether a person should be conventional in making decisions for their life, or if they should follow their heart and do what is right for them. A person begins with strengths, many of which they lose along the way. At some point along their heroic journey a person may regain their strengths and develop new ones. Each phase of this journey will have an effect on them and others around them. According to his brother, who narrates "Sonny's Blues," Sonny was a bright-eyed young man full of gentleness and privacy....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Better Essays
2967 words (8.5 pages)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay

- Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" is a story about two brothers, their past, and how their differences came between them. They were apart for several years while Sonny was in jail, but once he got out they had a chance to mend their pasts. "Sonny's Blues" is a well written story that teaches a lesson that has value in every day life. The tone is melancholy and reminiscent. The brother is remembering the past and reflection on the mistakes he and Sonny made. He is sad over their fallout, Sonny's trouble with drugs, and the death of his daughter....   [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]

Better Essays
501 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

- There are many things we learn of Sonny and his nameless brother in Sonny's Blues. We learn their mannerisms, hobbies, occupations, and even their addictions. It seems we learn nearly everything about the pair; minus the narrators name, as previously stated. Hearing of their histories and the pains they've under gone, we see how they deal with their pain, which often truly tells character. Sonny's Blues isn't a story of two brothers living in a rough city; one of whom is a talented musician. The story is so much more, it's the point of tossing the main two stereotypes of African-Americans in an urban environment....   [tags: James Baldwin Sonny's Blues]

Better Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)